Ethier snaps out of funk on 'calm-down' day

Ethier snaps out of funk on 'calm-down' day

PHILADELPHIA -- Mired in an 0-for-12 skid, Andre Ethier was supposed to have sat on Thursday, in what Dodgers manager Don Mattingly called a "calm-down day."

But Ethier, who entered the game in the eighth inning to play right field, ended up breaking open a close game when he batted the next inning. The Dodgers beat the Phillies, 8-3, to finish their first four-game sweep in Philadelphia. Ethier replaced Juan Rivera in the third spot of the order, and he came up fifth in the ninth. The bases were loaded when he walked to the plate, and his single scored two runs. Ethier took second after the ball was deflected by first baseman John Mayberry, then he took third as Elian Herrera was thrown out at the plate. Ethier scored on Jerry Hairston's single one batter later.

The outfielder has played in all but one of the Dodgers' 58 games.

"Mentally, it's a grind, man, trying to get ready to play every day," Mattingly said before Thursday's game. "As you get in that grind, then some days you just get worn down and you just need that mental break."

Ethier's two RBIs gave him a National League-leading 48, but he was hitless with four strikeouts in the first three games of the series.

Mattingly also said he's planning to give Ethier a chance to serve as the designated hitter in the Dodgers' upcoming series in Seattle, which starts Friday, to save his legs a bit.